Structure and study areas
Our approach of research-led learning emboldens you to develop your own creative and rigorous approach to design from the first week of the first year to the last week of your last term. The work you'll produce will show you're equipped with a wide range of skills and well on your way to becoming a technologically, professionally and culturally literate architect.
Your course will be based around four recurring elements: design, technologies, architectural humanities, and practices.
The course is based primarily in the studio and the workshop, with over 70% taught and assessed through design projects. Most teaching is through individual tutorials. You will also benefit from the expertise of a wide variety of practising architects, academics and researchers during frequent review sessions. Through making drawings and models you will explore your own architectural interests, creating and sharing new possibilities rather than replicating existing ones.
In Year 1 you will be taught in a year-wide group in a shared studio space, exploring the foundations of design practice. In Years 2 and 3 you can choose between a range of studio groups. Each is supported by two tutors and explores a theme in relation to their active design and research practice. Each studio group has a dedicated studio space in which you can work and where you can learn through conversations with other students.
At Brighton our Technology units have been linked more closely than ever with studio teaching. A new programme designed to bring decisions around environment and sustainability into the early stages of the design process has helped students make intelligent and articulate responses to technological issues raised within their design studios.
In Years 1 and 2 you will be introduced to technological questions through hands-on projects, making large-scale physical installations of structural and building construction systems. You will also have the opportunity to learn on-site from the construction of our yearly exhibition pavilion, collaborating with other professionals from the building industry. In Year 3 you will be supported to integrate this understanding of technology and professional practice with your design projects.
In Architectural humanities you will explore the history, theory and culture of architecture, understanding its interdisciplinary nature and in the context of your design work.
We introduce you to a wide-ranging selection of architectural literature and the notion of architectural culture as a discursive and reflective field. You will write an individual book report and in groups, compile your own edited Brighton Book Review. Alongside this, a lecture series will familiarise you with the history of modern western and world architecture.
In your second year we ask you to think in theoretical terms about architectural design and the built environment, through thematic reading seminars that lead onto researching and writing a building study. This is again supported by a lecture series which introduces theoretical perspectives on architecture.
Dissertation preparation at the end of your second year leads on to the dissertation project in year three: an extended essay on a subject of particular interest to you, where you will build on and apply the knowledge, understanding, and research skills previously acquired.
Practices integrates issues surrounding professional architectural practice by using your own design project as a vehicle for negotiating a path through the various work stages of a design project from inception through to completion on site. You'll be expected to utilise the RIBA Plan of Work as a model for navigating this route completely.
You'll attend a series of lectures under the umbrella heading of how architects work exploring what it is to be a professional architect in the UK in twenty-first century. Lectures are supplemented by seminars and workshops delivered by professionals from the construction industry, for example, the Heads of Planning and Security and Building Control at Brighton & Hove City Council. You'll also receive additional lectures from construction consultants such as CDM-Coordinators & Quantity Surveyors, with one-to-one tutorials from other visiting qualified architects.
This will allow you to evaluate your own design project within a professional context by directly applying professional practice and legislation via the medium of short essays, Gantt charts, design and access statements, drawn overlays discussing building regulation issues, risk registers and finally a short essay reflecting on your own practice and position within the world of architectural practice. This is complemented by the institution's links to RIBA South East, through which we have set up the student mentoring system and mock interviews, enabling recent students to find an immediate first job.
You will develop an understanding of the complexities and variety that presents itself to an individual practicing architect, as well as a greater conception of your own practice as an architect and designer, preparing you for your future career in architectural practice.
In year 1 you will complete modules totalling 120 credits.
Year 2 represents 25% of your final degree classification.
- Projects III and Project IV Vertical Design Studio. You will choose from a variety of design studios and spend the year learning from and working alongside third year colleagues. Studio and workshop based. Taught through individual and group design tutorials. Assessed through design portfolio and models.
- Technologies II Studio, workshop and lecture based. Taught as a group construction project. Assessed through built structures, material tests and design reports.
- Architectural Humanities II Seminar and lecture based. Taught as a combination of a lecture series, group seminars and individual tutorials. Assessed through written work.
- Option study Choose from a wide variety of options from within the arts and humanities. The assessment and teaching varies with the discipline chosen, which can be as diverse as from textile design to a language course.
- Optional modules
- Edible Campus
- Re-Imagining the House
- Excursion in Immensity: The Shape of a Walk
- Architecture of Play
Year 3 represents 75% of your final degree classification.
- Projects V and Project VI Vertical Design Studio. You will choose from a variety of design studios with individual research interests. Studio and workshop based. Taught through individual and group design tutorials. Assessed through design portfolio, exhibition and models.
- Technologies III Studio and lecture based. Taught through a lecture series and individual tutorials, the technology module is integrated with design Project VI. Assessed through material tests and technical drawings.
- Architectural Humanities III Dissertation. Taught through individual tutorials on your chosen subject. Assessed as a written dissertation.
- Practices Studio and lecture based. Taught through a lecture series and individual tutorials, professional practice is applied to design Project V. Assessed through a written and illustrated report.
Dr Ben Sweeting Course Leader
Ben studied architecture at the University of Cambridge and the Bartlett, UCL and has worked in practice in London and Oxford. His research, which has been funded by the AHRC and the Andrew W Mellon Foundation, explores ethical and epistemological questions in relation to architecture, drawing on ideas from cybernetics and on practice-based research. Ben teaches on humanities and design modules and leads Studio 01, which explores themes of scale, place and the public realm in both rural and urban contexts.
Meet the rest of the architecture staff.